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November 16, 2017
Anyone who’s been a guest in someone’s home can likely recount tales of woe, whether it’s using the bathroom only to find there’s no toilet paper or falling victim to a cuckoo clock that never sleeps. The fall and winter holidays are some of the most traveled days of the year. According to Forbes, around 99 million Americans travel during the period between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Day, and 44 million travel on Thanksgiving Day alone. Many of these folks are traveling long-distance, which means they’re going to need a place to stay. If you’re hosting guests this holiday season, read on for our tips on how to be an accommodating and gracious host.
Think about what you’d like to experience as a guest. Chances are, you don’t want to have to rifle through cabinets and closets in search of a spare blanket or a bath towel. If you want your guests to feel at home, make sure basic essentials are well-stocked and easy to find. Here’s a quick checklist for your guest room:
And don’t forget about the guest bathroom. In addition to giving it a thorough scrub before guests arrive, stock up on toilet paper and lay out a stack of clean towels and washcloths. Supply a waste basket unless you want all manner of randomness flushed down the toilet. And speaking of toilets, it’s a good idea to have a plunger and toilet bowl brush on hand so guests can handle embarrassing emergencies themselves. If you really want to go the extra mile when prepping the guest room and bathroom, check out this post from Southern Living.
The layout of your guest bedroom can be a huge factor in whether or not your guests have a pleasant stay. If you’ve crammed your visitors into a spare room as an afterthought, it will show. If at all possible, make sure there’s enough room for everyone to get to the bed, dresser, closet, or bathroom without having to step over boxes or piles. If you host frequently, consider investing in space-saving guest bedroom furniture, like bunk beds or trundle beds. If you have dedicated space for a guest room, these stellar design ideas can help you turn it into a haven guests will rave about.
You don’t have to go full-on Martha Stewart to bring a little festivity and sparkle to your guest’s quarters. Adding some guest room decor or bedding in thematic colors, like brown and orange for Thanksgiving, red and green for Christmas, or blue and silver for Hanukkah, is an easy way to acknowledge the season without going nuts. However, if enthusiastically decorating for the holidays is your thing, feel free. From crocheted turkey pillow shams to mini, themed trees in every corner, you’re only limited by your imagination (and probably your budget). Just maybe stop short of this mildly terrifying Santa Claus toilet seat cover.
If want to make sure your holiday guests have comfy accommodations and a pleasant stay, remember that the point is not to make them feel like they’re at the Ritz, but to put forth the effort to make them feel welcome and wanted. Check in ahead of time to see if there are any special requests or dietary needs you may have overlooked, and generally just follow the Golden Rule to ensure a good time is had by all.
Share your craziest (or best!) experience as an overnight guest in the comments!